Former Employees of Jolly Beach Resort to Picket Parliament Building

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Jolly beach staff in union meeting September 2020

Former employees of the Jolly Beach Resort will picket the parliament building of Antigua and Barbuda on Thursday 03 February, ahead of the Prime Minister’s budget presentation.

 

The decision was taken on Monday, at a meeting held with the former employees to discuss their outstanding severance following the hotel’s closure in March 2020.

 

Deputy General Secretary of the ABWU, Chester Hughes says the frustrated workers have insisted on intensifying efforts to secure their outstanding severance.

 

“The situation has become untenable for many of them and we will not go on without stating our disgust. We want the government to give a commitment that it will honor the full severance amount to the workers,” Hughes stated.

 

The Jolly Beach workers are owed millions of dollars in severance, retroactive payments, vacation pay, unpaid wages and retirement fund contributions which were deducted from salaries and withheld from the bank.

 

In 2021, and again in January of this year, the government articulated its interest in reactivating the property by securing private investors. In a correspondence to the Prime Minister earlier this year, the ABWU Deputy General Secretary urged the government to facilitate dialogue with the union pending the sale of the property.

 

Hughes notes that the union’s call for dialogue continues to be ignored by the Prime Minister. Moreover, to date, the government has failed to indicate to the workers when and how their severance will be paid if a sale is completed.

 

Over 500 families have been affected by the closure of the Jolly Beach Resort.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Typical LABOR response to the WORKERS rights and protection…. zip, nothing, zero.
    Labor parties TALK a good game but where are there concrete results? They have very little to actually show their duped supporters. WAKE UP !

  2. Make a compassionate payment and arrangement with former JBR employees as well to ease their burden.

  3. I see that Gaston Browne has back stabbed you too. I know well about getting back stabbed from my former friend Gaston. I will even vote for the stripper pole bus before I vote for Gaston Browne again.

    I have never seen so many picketing occurrences happen under a party. The traiors or Labour must go.

    He is a backstabbing asshole that can’t be trusted. I learned that the hard way.

    • Good fu you. He should’ve literally STABBED YOU IN YOUR BACK. Nobody wants your input now, you can go to hell.

    • Until ALL is included in the successes of the economy and not just a few self enriched cronies thriving through corruption,it will simply be an economic poorhouse.

  4. This is beyond unforgivable! The prime minister is Not looking out for the People of Antigua But Only for what’s good for himself. One perfect example: The locals with their hard-earned huts on Jolly Beach making their income by selling home-cooked food, and then the prime minister wanted to build his “Beach House” on Jolly Beach…So he kicked out all the huts But took “under-the-table” money from the club/Bar which in turn was allowed to stay on Jolly Beach. You all know that Beach house was paid with all the corrupt money Plus, the People of Antigua!!!! Yet….It’s OK to let the hard-working people who worked at Jolly Beach Resort starve!!! The prime minister should be investigated and kicked out of office for the Good of the Wonderful People of Antigua!!!!!!

    • The owner was the ABI Bank and the AOB Bank. And they are both in liquidation. But you can see how politics has it in this country. Everything becomes the government’s fault. Even though they have nothing to do with the hotel. At one time they even struck a deal with Barrett Group which kept the hotel open for a while. But that also didn’t last. Meanwhile the Union is feeding the workers all sorts of lies and they are buying it completely.

  5. I am no Gaston fan, but the jolly beach situation should be at the costs of A.F Jarvis, the man cmo’s husband and the other directors, how government supposed to pay everybody so?

    I’m a former JBR employee, I used to work dining room, have you guys seen jbr prior to closing?nothing works, it will take usd millions and years to repair those deplorable conditions.

    Picket fed ex and I’ll come, picket inside of jbr where A.F Jarvis still LIVES!

    Jbr owed the government more than they owe us!!

    Jarvis and Mr Thomas along with the other board directors are wicked evil persons!

    • You are speaking from a point of knowledge. Yes Mr. Jarvis was the Chairman of the Board and also a shareholder in the ABI Group. I guess he lost his share capital now. But indeed, the Directors are carrying fiduciary responsibility and until we start applying the laws fairly and equally regardless of social status in our society, these things will happen, and people will go scot-free when it comes to mismanagement of trust fund. The entire ABI Fiasco should have had a trial. But the PM protected them all. And despite that they do not appreciate him at all. Cause they were all in the boat with UPP in the 2004 election until 2014. I wonder if the Union could have started a suit against the Board of Directors.

  6. So, these workers are made to understand by their Union that it is the government that owns the hotel, and therefore should be responsible for settling their severance pay. What a bunch of idiots. They are so politically blinded by their Union that they do not know that it is the very same government that is making all effort to try and save their severance payout. Jolly Beach was owned by the ABI Group. In particular the Local and the Offshore bank. We all know what happened to these two entities. They went belly up. They also own various government agencies, millions of dollars. And for this reason, the government is using its leverage as a creditor to secure a buyer and ensure that severance is paid. I wish them luck doing so. But I doubt any investor would want to pay all that money and do not get value for money. It’s best you liquidate the company and whatever it is sold for be distributed to all creditors according to seniority. And we know the government taxes have first priority above severance. I understand the government wants to go and take a US$200 million loan and buy the hotel. The silly thing is they would be buying their own debt. And then the monies will go part to the receiver, whose fees come first and then the staff. The little that would be left will go to the Treasury. And then they can sell the hotel to the highest bidder and pay back some of the loan. Financial Engineering at its best.

    • If I’m the investor, I would lend the government the US$200M at 4% then turn around and purchase the hotel for US$100M from the same government. Cause the investor will have to completely demolish the structure. You cannot make a four-star or five-star hotel from that property. Many studies have been done already to show that it will not work. When the hotel was built it was built as a low-fare hotel. The back of the plane tourists as we like to call them. Antigua doesn’t need that kind of tourist in hotels. Let them go to guest houses, small boutique hotels, like Donna’s place, Dickenson Bay and Air BNB properties. Our hotels all need to be brought up to four or five-stars. That way hotel workers will also earn a higher wage because the service charge, which is calculated from the room rate, will be much higher.

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